So you’ve chosen your new vape mod and now you’re wondering which batteries will power your new pride and joy, it just so happens that we know a little something about that and in this article we’ll be taking a look at all things batteries.
What is a vape battery?
Vape batteries are made up of lithium ion chemistry, found in pretty much any device that's rechargeable from smartphones to the video doorbell, torches, power tools and laptops, to e-bikes and even cars, just to name a few.
The majority of vape devices on the market that use external batteries will either be 18650 or the more recent addition to the vape battery world, the 21700. The first 2 digits denote the diameter in these two batteries 18mm and 21mm, the second two numbers the length of the battery, 65mm & 70mm. The last number ”0” represents the shape of the battery, in these cases a cylinder.
As you may have noticed there’s a considerable difference in size with batteries used in vape devices compared to that of, say an AA. It's not just the size that’s different either, the chemical makeup is completely different as well, but most importantly the amount of power available is drastically different compared to your average AA. Even though the capacities can be relatively similar in the mah, the current drawn is mightily different with a 18650 or 21700. These cells are able to discharge current at up to ten times the amount of an AA. Using a simple WH (watt hour) calculator, you’ll be able see the superiority of the 18650 and 21700.
Now size isn’t the only factor in choosing the correct battery for your device, next is the performance capabilities of the battery. First we’ll look at the capacity of the battery (or energy density) this is measured in MAH or milliamp hours, however this isn’t the only thing to take into account, as these can vary from as low as 2000mah up to 5000mah capacity.
The most important part, the CDR (continuous discharge rate) in AMPS, the higher the CDR of the battery, the higher the current can be pulled from the battery without it overheating.
The higher the MAH rating of a particular battery, the lower the CDR (in AMPS).
What we are looking to do is choose an 18650 or 21700, that will provide a happy medium between the MAH and an AMP CDR that will not only be safe, but also provide you with the longest run time.
The higher the wattage you vape at, the higher the amount of amps to sustain that power.
Basic battery safety
The most crucial thing about buying 18650 or 21700 batteries is to make sure you purchase them from retailers that provide genuine products from authorised distributors, as there is a large counterfeit market. Buying from these authorised sellers confirms you are buying the genuine item with the best quality.
Carrying or storing these batteries should always be carried out with care, using the provided plastic storage case that our batteries are shipped in.
These batteries can be particularly volatile if handled inappropriately, such as putting them in a pocket or bag with metal objects like keys or coins. Loose metallic items making contact with batteries can potentially lead to the bridging of the positive and negative ends of the battery, completing the circuit and causing venting of the battery, which could result in probable burns and in the worst cases explosion.
Looking after the condition of the battery itself is of utmost importance, every battery, be it 18650 or 21700 (or any other size) will have a PVC wrap protecting the body of the battery. There will always be a small ring on the positive end under the wrap, this is called the insulator and is there to stop the negative and the positive coming into contact with each other. It’s imperative that you make sure that these two things are in pristine condition, if your battery wrap becomes damaged, do not use it. Either replace the cell, or re wrap the battery with one of the repair kits which are available in our store.
Charging your batteries should ideally be carried using a dedicated battery charger, capable of specifically charging lithium ion batteries. Charging should be carried out inline with the charging guideline for that particular battery, which can be anywhere between 0.25amp up to 2amp. We recommend charging at the 1amp mark, your 18650s or 21700s will reach 4.2 volts when fully charged and should never charged above that.
It is always good practice to consult the data sheet provided by the manufacturer.
We would also recommend the marrying of your batteries, If your device requires more than one battery. This just means keeping those two batteries together, whether in your device, or when charging. Numbering your batteries is good practice, it's easier to remember which pairs are which then. Some vapers also wrap their batteries in different colour wraps to distinguish the pairs.
You should also never charge your batteries overnight, as there maybe the slightest possibility for injury & damage if a charging failure was to occur. Although charger failure with these circumstances is extremely rare, it’s better to be safe than sorry.